First Cocktail

The first cocktail arose in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago

McGovern, professor at the Pennsylvania University, Philadelphia, studied the evolution of viticulture in the East and West, finding some earthenware along the Tigris river showing traces of tartaric acid (an element which is characteristic of the grape fermentation), honey, apple juice and brew barley (a sort of beer ante litteram).


I'm no archeologist, but how do they know that the people in question didn't just use the same pot to drink wine, honey, apple juice and beer separately? Archeologists, please explain


    On 20 April 2009 at 16:42 Anonymous said...

    Hey! I'm an archaeologist and I like to procrastinate from my own research so I'll take a crack at this (although it is not my specialty).

    1.It is almost impossible to find remnants of food in archaeological ceramics (for obvious reasons). The archaeological chemistry used to identify the food/wine could mostly likely only pick up whatever food was last stored in that vessel. You can imagine that if a vessel had apple juice and then was washed and then had honey and then was washed and refilled with beer and then left for several thousand years it would be impossible to find traces of material other than the beer that last filled the vessel. Finding all those ingredients together means they were all mixed together and stored in that vessel.

    2. It sounds like this lab is analyzing funerary ceramics. Funerary ceramics (especially when used for a King as they mention here: would be made specifically for the funeral celebration and used only once. There wouldn't be reuse and refilling. It makes sense then to argue that they used a mixture of ingredients to make this drink.

    It sounds like an intriguing and possibly tasty combo, I'd be up for trying it!


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